DOWN WITH LOVE
About The Production
To fully realize the stylistic vision of the script, the DOWN WITH LOVE sets,
costumes, cinematography, choreography, music, make-up and hairstyles had to
maintain a cohesive tone throughout the filming.
"What's distinctive about the script is that it keeps an emotional
reality along with its stylized look and performances," says Peyton Reed.
"The script is almost like a musical without the music. There's a distinct
rhythm to the dialogue, and I felt there should also be a visual rhythm for the
way the movie plays outs."
Not only does DOWN WITH LOVE take place in 1962, it was written and designed
specifically to look like it was made in 1962. Split screens, enormous sets,
stock footage and sixties-style music all evoke the period. "Audiences will
feel as if they're watching a movie made in the sixties," says Reed.
The script abides by the rules and mores of 1962. "We don't show or say
anything in DOWN WITH LOVE that wouldn't have worked in an early-sixties
romantic comedy," says Ahlett.. "There's no sex or nudity, but there
is sexy dialogue and lots of crazy jazz."
In the early sixties, New York City had a vibrancy and optimism under which
the arts thrived. It was no wonder the Doris Day - Rock Hudson movies were set
in New York, albeit an idealized version, where everyone had a fabulously
furnished apartment with a spectacular view, the weather was perfect, and one
could always hail an immaculate yellow cab. On the Hollywood sound stages and
back lots of the period, anything was possible.
DOWN WITH LOVE also plays on our current fascination with early-sixties
designs. "What's interesting is how much we embrace the early sixties
today," comments Cohen. "You would kill to have those
early-sixties-style apartments and those clothes. You want that music on your stereo.
There's a synergy that's allowing us to make a movie that's simultaneously a
period piece and also completely modern and contemporary, because everyone is so
in love with that aesthetic right now."
Liked the Day-Hudson collaborations "Pillow Talk" and "Lover
Come Back," DOWN WITH LOVE was filmed entirely on four stages at Hollywood
Center Studios, with a few days of exterior work done on the Universal Studios
"We have painted backdrops, not translights, so we're not hiding the
fact that our setting is ot real," says director of photography Jeff
Croneweth. "The sixties films were classically beautiful and color
saturated, but were shot fairly simple, and I wanted to pay tribute to that
style. I added a little more contemporary camera framing and movement, and I
used the anamorphic (widescreen) aspect ratio to force interesting
Production designer Andrew Laws, yet another admirer of early-sixties movies,
relished the challenge of designing DOWN WITH LOVE's 55 sets.
"Working on DOWN WITH LOVE allowed me to take my favorite pieces of
mid-century modern architecture and my favorite architect-heroes, like Miss Van
der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Richard Neutra and Alvar Aalto, and create a slightly
more whimsical world with pieces and samplings of the period," says Laws.
"At the same time, we played with the architecture, and weren't bound by
conventions of how somebody moves through space, or by logic."
The panoramic view from Barbara Novak's 120-degress, eighteen-foot-high glass
walls includes a painted backdrop of the Empire State Building, The Statue of
Liberty and the Chrysler Building. For Barbara, Laws created a light, open and
vertical environment. Catch's apartment, in contract, is a horizontal and dark
lair - a state-of-the-art bachelor pad equipped with every gadget imaginable to
aid in sexual seduction.
Complementing the production design's stylistic tonal line are the costumes
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